“The Unknown Known,” a new documentary by Errol Morris slated to be released on April 4, covers the life and career of former Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld with a focus on the runup to the Iraq War.
In this clip, first published on The Daily Beast, Rumsfeld is grilled by Morris on why the Bush administration attempted to lead Americans to believe that there was a link between Saddam Hussein and the September 11 terrorist attacks.
“It was very clear that the direct planning for 9/11 was done by Osama bin Laden’s people, al Qaeda, and in Afghanistan,” replied Rumsfeld. “I don’t think the American people were confused about that.”
Morris then notes that in a 2003 Washington Post poll, 69% of Americans responded that they believed that Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the attacks.
Rumsfeld responds by saying that no one in the administration thought or said that.
But that claim appears rather disingenuous. Although the Bush Administration never directly blamed Hussein for the attacks, the general rhetoric from the administration painted a strong connection between Iraq and al Qaeda.
On September 25, 2002, for example, Bush stated that, “you can’t distinguish between Al Qaeda and Saddam when you talk about the War on Terror.”
This statement was quickly followed by remarks from Rumsfeld on September 27 stating that links between Iraq and al Qaeda were “not debatable.”
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